Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Company You (Don't) Keep

A friend of mine texted me yesterday to mention the idiocy by which major news media takes wacky, fringe-element created signs at rallies and tries to paint them as indicative of a larger mood, or as representative of the headline speaker.

The left, he wrote, got painted with this during the Iraq War runup, and now the right is getting hit with it on the health care insurance reform issue.

Then, this morning, I caught this quote in an NYT article that talked about some of the challenges that the Facebook-and-citizen-journalism creates for college celebrities like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, and Sam Bradford. Tebow described attempts by which he's been nearly duped into being photographed next to topless women, and McCoy mentioned frequent requests to by eager coeds to have their shirts signed on the chest. Apparently, they're a lot smarter than Senator Larry Craig or the staffers at ACORN, because they've got their guard up at all times for the potential set-up that could be coming.

As Kent Bradford, Sam’s father, said, “You don’t know if you’re actually having that picture made with a known gambler or a known prostitute or a known drug dealer.”

At the end of the day, I think Kent Bradford's quote really says it. I would never hold Sam Bradford accountable for having his picture taken with a bad guy. I also wouldn't hold an entire political movement accountable for one or two wackos holding signs, nor would I hold a politician (or anyone else) accountable for everything that was yelled out at a rally.

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